Laws on Video Recording Without Consent in Indiana
In some cases, the act of video recording without consent in Indiana is a crime. In fact, Indiana criminal code addresses this in a new law pertaining to unlawful photography, surveillance, and tracking on private property, as well as in a long-standing law regarding the practice of voyeurism. Given the serious consequences associated with these offenses, it’s important that anyone who wishes to create audio-visual content in Indiana fully understand the relevant state laws prior to beginning production.
The criminal defense attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer LLP have extensive experience defending Hoosiers charged with a criminal offense in Indiana. Our team, led by two former deputy prosecutors, understands Indiana criminal law inside and out, especially when it comes to charges related to video recording without consent in Indiana. If you need assistance from an experienced Indiana criminal defense attorney, do not hesitate to contact our firm.
Criminal Code on Taking Video Without Consent in Indiana
Individuals who are interested in, or tasked with, producing audio-visual content should understand that the laws regarding these activities vary greatly from state to state. Therefore, prior to beginning production in Indiana, one should examine specific statutes of Indiana law addressing the topic of video recording. Furthermore, for those with a professional license, it’s important to examine the laws regulating your profession and how your licensure could be impacted by a conviction related to taking video without consent in Indiana.
Unlawful Surveillance Laws in Indiana
Senate Bill 161, which was signed into law by Gov. Holcomb in April of 2023, created several new laws aimed at tackling the issue of stalking in Indiana. One of these new laws addresses the practice of unlawful photography, surveillance, and tracking on private property. Per Indiana Code 35-46-8.5-1, a person “who knowingly or intentionally places a camera or electronic surveillance equipment that records images or data of any kind while unattended on the private property of another person without the consent of the owner or tenant of the private property; or places a tracking device on an individual or on property owned or used by an individual, without the knowledge or consent of the individual commits unlawful surveillance, a Class A misdemeanor.”
It’s important to note that under some circumstances this charge can be elevated to a Level 6 felony. This can occur when the offender has a prior, unrelated conviction for unlawful surveillance, domestic violence, stalking, or invasion of privacy in Indiana; or when the offender is subject to a protective order in Indiana. One element of this new law that is important to understand is that it does not apply to electronic or video toll collection facilities, law enforcement officers who have obtained a search warrant, or law enforcement officers using a recording device as part of their performance of duty (such as in wearing a body-camera). It does, however, apply to private investigators and security guards in Indiana, and has the potential to affect the status of their professional licensure. As stated in Indiana Code 25-1-11-5, a licensed private investigator or security guard who has been convicted of a crime that either has a direct bearing on their ability to continue to practice competently; is harmful to the public; or whom has engaged in a course of lewd or immoral conduct in connection with the delivery of services to the public; may be called to a hearing by the Private Investigator and Security Guard Board and subject to disciplinary actions.
Voyeurism and Video Recording without Consent in Indiana
The most serious charge one could face for video recording without consent in Indiana is a charge of voyeurism, which is considered an act of sexual misconduct. As stated in Indiana Code 35-45-4-5, voyeurism occurs when a person is knowingly or intentionally peeping; going onto land or into an occupied dwelling of another person with the intent to peep; or peeping in an area where an occupant of an area can reasonably be expected to disrobe (including restrooms, baths, showers, and dressing rooms); without the consent of the other person. If this offense is committed using a camera the offender would be charged with a Level 6 felony.
Furthermore, a person could be charged with public voyeurism, a Class A misdemeanor, if they peep without the consent of the individual and with intent to peep at the private area of an individual and record an image or video by means of a camera. This charge may be elevated to a felony under some circumstances, as well. For example, if the person then publishes the image or video, makes it available on the internet, or transmits it to another person, they could be charged with a Level 6 felony in Indiana.
Per the Indiana Sentencing Guidelines, a person charged with making a video recording without consent in Indiana could face up to 1 year in prison and fines of up to $5,000, if convicted of a Class A misdemeanor. Those penalties, however, increase quite dramatically for those charged with a Level 6 felony. In Indiana, those convicted of this level of offense could face up to three years in prison and fines of up to $10,000. In addition, offenders would also be required to carry the tremendous burden of having a criminal record in Indiana. Thankfully, that can be remedied through Indiana expungement, but only after a certain number of years have passed since their conviction.
Need to Speak with an Indiana Attorney?
If you’ve been charged with unlawful surveillance or voyeurism due to taking a video recording without consent in Indiana, then you’ll need to retain the services of a skilled and experienced defense attorney in Indiana. The Indianapolis law firm of Keffer Hirschauer LLP is particularly adept at handling cases of this nature, and can ably defend you in any criminal proceedings. However, time is of the essence, especially if you’ve been charged with a sex crime in Indiana or if a conviction would have a negative impact on your professional license in Indiana. Given this, you’ll want to give us a call today at 317-857-0160 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.